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LEGAL VIEW WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD
Jobs Report and Election Examined; Hermine Downgraded to Tropical Storm; Latest in Brock Turner Sentencing Controversy. Aired 12:30-1p ET
Aired September 2, 2016 - 12:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[12:30:00] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: President Obama inherited the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. But stunningly, in proposing to slash taxes for the wealthy and completely eliminate the new rules on Wall Street, Donald Trump is doubling down on the trickle-down policies that led to the crisis in the first place.
So Jackie, this is the last jobs report before the first debate. You've seen the two theme songs from those campaigns. Now, were they view the American jobs market. Do these numbers change the direction of the campaign at all?
JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Above all those are pretty standard Republican, Democrat responses to a jobs report. But, you know, I have to point to President Obama's approval rating. As long as that stays in a good place, that will help Hillary Clinton. I mean you usually when you're tieing someone as a politician another politician it's because no one likes them. That's not the case and that's why Hillary Clinton has hugged President Obama and his policies so close. So and I'll have to see, but that seems to be -- it doesn't seem to be bad for her right now.
ROMANS: Let's talk about debates. Speaking of debate Errol, because now know we learned this morning who among our colleagues would be moderating those important debates. So here's who we know. We know NBC's Lester Holt, will do the September 26th debate. Our own Anderson Cooper and ABC's Martha Raddatz will do October 9th. Chris Wallace of Fox presides October 19th, so my question shall we send our condolences or congratulations? Well, that's going to be a tough job
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well though congratulations to all of them obviously, it's a great gig, right. It is going to be tough, though because, you know, I have been anticipated for a while now that with Trump's reported style of sort of informally getting ready for this and trying to focusing on different sort of head games and apparently in thrust with Hillary Clinton.
He has to take care not to forget that there's a moderator up there and the moderator is going to be extremely well briefed on lots of details and lots of policies. So that if Trump thinks he is going to sort of skate around it or throw up something about the Clinton impeachment from 20 years ago, the moderators that you just showed there are not going to let him get away with it.
ROMANS: To be a fly in the wall if debate prep for both of them, you know, how do you get extend in for Donald Trump if you're Hillary Clinton and if you're Donald Trump, you know, you're trying to, you know, you're trying to appear presidential, but also be 100 percent Trump.
Jackie, let's talk about the money news here, the Clinton campaign reporting yesterday some major fundraising hall. They're fundraising in August more than living up to expectations that total $143 million split among the campaign, DNC, the state Democratic Parties. How will they -- how should they spend all that cash in the next 67 days?
KUCINICH: I mean, that's -- she's gotten a lot of lack for sort of being under the radar and not being in front of crowds recently. This is why. She's been fundraising and creating a war chest so she could blanket the air waves going into this, going into this election and that's I mean people are -- as we've talked about normal people aren't tuning into this until after Labor Day. So this is where ...
ROMANS: Do you think we are not normal people?
KUCINICH: Sadly, no.
ROMANS: But you think after Labor Day is when there's a renewed kind of interest here and that's where the money is like given.
KUCINICH: That's our accounts. This is when it actually starts counting.
ROMANS: Let's talk about tomorrow. Donald Trump has a big moment tomorrow in minority outreach. He is going to go to a Detroit church for an interview with a pastor/broadcaster. And "The New York Times" got a copy not only the questions, but also of the drafted answers for Donald Trump. And there's one in particular that's been getting a lot of attention.
Here is the scripted response to question -- scripted response to a question about faith. Here's how it goes. "As I went through my life things got busy with business, but my family kept me grounded to the truth and word of God. I treasure my relationship with my family and through them I have a strong faith enriched by an ever wonderful God." You know, we don't know if this is just a talking point or this is something he supposed to memorize to answer, but his relationship with faith, is through other people not through himself, that's how I'm reading this.
LOUIS: Oh, that's an interesting interpretation. I was just kind of blown away of the thought of Donald Trump delivering that, even if he did memorize it. It doesn't sound like him. I don't know if any of us would believe that it was his words or even his sentiments because we haven't heard anything resembling that and he's been in lots of forums before evangelicals where they wanted to hear exactly what that paragraph says and he didn't say it to them. So either there's been some change of heart or he's got really talking points, but as we know he doesn't always stick to those talking points.
KUCINICH: But it does seem like they're trying to channel -- he is close to his family. I mean they're all over his campaign and you've seen it everywhere. So perhaps they're trying to channel some spirituality through that because that is something he obviously cares a lot about, is the people that are close to him.
ROMANS: But his personal relationship with God is something I think that is not that particular answer there. It's a relationship to God through other people.
LOUIS: And even look, even though it's carefully staged and scripted its supposed to be for television.
ROMANS: Right, true.
LOUIS: So there will be a camera rolling so whether its read, memorized or made up on the spot, we'll see what it was like.
ROMANS: It could be just a talking point. We don't know we will know tomorrow. All right, thanks, guys. Jackie Kucinich and Errol Louis, it's nice to see you both this morning.
[12:35:04] Up next, Hermine isn't a hurricane anymore, but the storm is far from over, virtually the entire East Coast now on alert. Live pictures from a shaky camera from Charleston, South Carolina where the city is getting hit right now by strong winds, we'll take you there live coming up.
And Just a programming note, Monday night, a CNN Special Report that will take an in-depth look at the life and times of the two major party candidates for president. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, you don't want to miss that. Here is a quick look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I accept your nomination.
DONALD TRUMP (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For the presidency of the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The essential Hillary Clinton.
CLINTON: We are stronger together in charting a course toward the future.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The essential Donald Trump.
TRUMP: I love you, and we will make America great again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All on one block buster night.
Clinton has become the most famous person no one knows.
CHELSEA CLINTON, HILLARY CLINTON'S DAUGHTER: I never understand that. It's so clear to me who my mother is. She never forgets who she's fighting for and she's fighting first and foremost for children and her families.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump has a passion for business and the spotlight. DONALD TRUMP JR., DONALD TRUMP'S SON: No one is going to out work him.
No one has more energy than him.
IVANKA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S DAUGHTER: He always said to us, find what -- what's you're passionate about and pursue it with your whole heart.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Their stories from the people who know them best. CNN Special Report, Hillary Clinton at 8:00. Donald Trump at 10:00 CNN Labor Day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[12:40:50] ROMANS: All right. You're looking at live pictures here of some flooding, some real flooding here in Tampa. Look at that. The sun has come up. It's been six hours now of daylight after this dangerous tropical storm spinning up the East Coast from Florida. Landed there is a hurricane it's called Hermine, left more than 100,000 homes at the dark when it made land fall on Florida's golf coast.
These images really spectacular look at that highway completely cut off. These are chopper aerials that got these shots of the Tampa area. And as you can see, this part of the community has just been hammered by flooding.
Right now people in communities up the eastern sea board are preparing for very heavy rain and possible flooding just like this. The next cities to feel the full force of this storm Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina.
Look at that, that's Tampa. CNN's Brian Todd is in Charleston for us. And Brian just in the past couple of hours the water there I noticeably higher behind you. Do you expect that's going to come over the sea wall there?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine. They don't necessarily expect it to come over the sea wall, but we have been told that with other storms the water has not only come over the sea wall but has come through the sea wall on occasion. Here is the storm surge. Our photojournalist Cliel Abdali (ph) got pan down showing these waves slapping against the sea wall here.
It's getting more intense, even though the tide is apparently pulling out. But we really haven't seen the tide pull out too much Cliel is going to pan to your left, my right to see the waves over there on that sea wall and you can see how intense those are getting.
We have noticed a very significant increase in the wind speed here. You see the white caps along the harbor here and in the ocean. This storm is intensifying as the brunt of it really hits Charleston. Some rain bans have come through here earlier they were expecting anywhere from three to eight inches of rain here. Today, it could come in the next few hours. Really the heavy stuff could start coming down very, very soon. Here is part of the problem here in Charleston. With some of these roads, this is the Charleston peninsula. This is East Bay Street. These roads here like Water Street, those used to be tidal creeks and tidal canals. Now, they filled those in, but gravity is still gravity and water has to go someplace when it really starts to flood around here. Very Low lying areas here for these streets.
ROMANS: All right. And that's what happens when you've got a storm of that magnitude coming through. I want to go back to those live pictures in Tampa because that's what they're going to be facing up there in Charleston whether or not that water goes over that sea wall. These are from our affiliate WFLA and we are hearing the storm surge further coast could reach them at nine feet.
You could see you've got homes cutoff here. That looks like a river or big, you know, wandering creek but that is a roadway, folks. You can see the street lights there that are now part in puddles of water. Big highways cut off in this neighborhood, it's just deluge
[12:43:43] So hoping people sit tight, wait for power crews to come through, wait for the water to kind of pull back over the next couple of days and be careful out there. Sometimes accidents can happen long after the storm has passed. We'll be right back.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Ashleigh Banfield reporting live at the Santa Clara Hall of Justice, and you can probably see behind me there are a number of people who have gathered with placards and signs all denouncing Judge Aaron Persky who is jury court judge who sentenced Brock Turner to six months in jail and three months or three years of probation. Brock Turner walked out of the jail adjacent to this sight just a few hours ago after serving three months, half of the sentence.
It's all within a legal parameters, every part if it. Leaving early, being sentenced in a lenient way. All of it actually fits within the law, and that's why these people have come out, because they don't like the judicial discretion that was used by Judge Aaron Persky, and they want him recalled from the bench. And there are a lot of people coming here, couple hundred people including legislators, survivors of rape and those who are just frustrated with the process. General Citizens who want their voices heard.
Typically, when you talk about rape and surviving rape, the last thing you think is that it's funny. But in this particular case, some of the speakers here today, some of the attendants here today are going to talk about comedy because Samantha Sergeant is the writer producer for "Funny or Die", she is with me here on the left hand side and Sofie Karasek is a U.C. Berkeley rape survivor. It's very strange that I have you both in the same interview, but we're going to try to make this work.
First and foremost one of the celebrity, you know, people whoa re here at the rally, you've brought your sign "Rapist belong in prison" and yet it's a "Funny or Die" element. How are you sort of incorporating the comedy aspects, is that serious issue for so many?
SAMANTHA SERGEANT, WRITER/PRODUCER, FUNNY OR DIE: Well, You know, I really -- I enjoy being a part of the comedy community and also being a really passionate female who cares about things like this was the kind of thing that really gets me fired up and it shows people, you know, comedians are also have a voice and can come out and really stand for something that matters. It's not all fun and games, you know.
SERGEANT: I have lots of passion as an as artist and a female citizen.
BANFIELD: Yeah and, you know, quite frequently we have said in my business, that the satirists are the ones who often make the most profound statements and cut through so much of the noise.
[12:49:59] SERGEANT: We do, we get that opportunity and I always intend in my film making and in my comedy and as an actress to be able to work those things and try to use the film industry, that people really like rely on in a lot of ways as a message in getting really solid point across when we can because there are people listening.
BANFIELD: And you'll have a lot of people listening. There's a couple hundred people who are gathering there in a couple different location, some of the behind me over here at the Hall of Justice, the jail complex is just, you know, about a half a block and then across from that they're gathering as well.
Sofie, before I ask you your reaction and involvement in all this, I do want to read something for you that the Stanford survivor read in court. I think we can all agree that the reason this is such a big story and the reason we're here today, we're covering the rally, the recall Persky campaign really stemmed from her words. She was the one that gave his voice, she brought it to the prominence that it's in right now. And this is what she did when she faced Brock Turner in court and the judge.
She -- part of her letter said Right now, Brock, "Right now your name is tainted. So I challenge you to make a new name for yourself, to do something so good for the world it blows everyone away. You have a brain and a voice and a heart. Use them wisely. You possess immense love from your family. That alone can pull you out of anything. Mine has held me up through all of this. Yours will hold you and you will go on. I believe, one day you will understand all of this better. I hope you will become a better more honest person who can properly use this story to prevent another story like this from ever happening again. I fully support your journey to healing, to rebuilding your life, because that is the only way you will begin to help others."
Extraordinary words from somebody who was suffering and in pain herself, and effectively that all begins today because he just walked out of that jail. Isn't that paradoxically exactly what the Judge Persky was hoping for too, go forth and make something better?
SOFIE KARASEK, DIRECTOR, END RAPE ON CAMPUS: I think that the survivor made very clear with there is that went viral was that there is an importance accepting responsibility and recognizing that your actions had consequences, and that was lacking in the sentence that the Judge Persky gave to Brock Turner. And so I completely agree that men who have committed sexual assault and rape ought to take responsible and say, yes, I did do this, but now I am going to make a difference and talk to other people about the importance of consent and healthy relationships and listening to others when they say that they don't want to do something.
BANFIELD: This is -- I said earlier. I was speaking to a young woman who was a sexual assault survivor from Harvard Law School. I said that was really hard to ask somebody who had to go through this about the perspective of the attacker. And yet judicial discretion exists for a reason. We want to be able to say look, some cases are different than others some people are different than others.
And a lot of the critics of the new legislation that's out right now governor brown has on his desk ready for signature is that this lack of discretion may in fact disproportionately harm minorities and that they would be the one who actually suffer the brunt of ending up in prison sentences without the probation. How did you feel about that?
KARASEK: So, I definitely agree that there is an issue of marginalized communities, particularly black and brown communities being disproportionately affected by the Criminal Justice System. That is absolutely true. In the cases of sexual assault and rape, it's largely people who are coming from privileged communities who are the ones who are actually attacking these survivors.
So it's actually not an issue where most of the attackers are black and brown men, but that is disproportionately who often is prosecuted for these kinds of crimes, and that's something that's historically been true. What I would like to see is making sure that we are ensuring that people are being prosecuted when they're committing these crimes, and that's particularly the people who are privileged like Brock Turner, the Olympic swimmers, the people who are at Harvard Law. Those people who will go on to become judges, lawyers, attorneys who have this kind of power.
BANFIELD: I want to ask you Samantha, if I can as you, you know, get the message out today, how you feel about what happened and this judge's use of his legal discretion, let's all be clear this is all within the legal discretion he had. When Brock Turner prosecutes his day today, he was only a few hours out, what do you think we should all be doing? Should we be chasing him to see where his next move? Should there be helicopters following him to the airport? Should we follow him into Dayton, Ohio? Is this a Brock Turner story or has the focus moved away from him and on to the process and the issue as a whole?
SERGEANT: I do think that the story has moved on to process and the issue as a whole. And he has been alleviated over lot of responsibility and that is for sure. I do also really I expect and hope that people are not going to allow him to -- I don't think that women and people in his life are going to allow him to enjoy his life outside of jail. [12:55:02] BANFIELD: Yeah.
SERGEANT: And it has become a lot about Judge Persky, which is very much an issue and we do need to do something about that.
BANFIELD: Samantha and Sofie I really appreciate taking the time. I know you have to get in place for the speakers. It's all coming down in just a couple of minutes. So thank you for your time. Thank you for your time and courage as well. I really appreciate it.
Couple of last notes, just before we hand of to the next program. What's critical here is as you watch the protest today, the process for Brock Turner does not end at this jail complex and justice hall behind me. It goes on for life. For the next three years he is effectively on probation. That's not unusual. But for this particular sentence. The short it is. It is a life sentence of registering as a sex offender. If he has a son down the pike at a football game, he can't just necessarily go watch his son at that school. There is a lot of logistics that are going to play into his life for the rest of his life.
Lot of people here say, that should be end more. Thanks so much, everyone for watch. My thanks to Christine Romans for handling the New York duties as well. Please stay tuned. We're continuing our coverage. But Wolf takes over after this small break.
[13:00:15] WOLF BLITZER: Hello, I'm Wolf Blitzer. It's 1:00 p.m. here in --